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Hi

I want to add Tapebuss to almost every track in order to simulate an analog desk and tape setup

What preset would you suggest for such an approach


also a bit of forum talk from a good source to help you in your development

Here's what HEDD 'tape' is doing:

High frequency pre-emphasis

Clipping or distortion, most likely with a transfer function that is pretty soft.  I use a sine-based one myself, but don't do the pre-emphasis/de-emphasis.

High frequency de-emphasis.

Here's what therefore happens:

With distortion, what you hear is distortion (obviously).  The trick is using such small amounts that you're not hearing it as distorted- or using it in such a way that it's not easily heard.  In this case, Dave Hill is pre-emphasising highs in much the way tape bias EQ does, and sending it to the clipper (certainly a soft knee one) and then de-emphasising.  This does one very significant thing- it will amplify greatly the very type of high frequency transient easily generated by (or reproduced by) digital audio workstations.

I've felt for some time that the trouble with in-the-box DAW output is that it is brittle, over-clear, 'fragmented'.  There's a cohesion that is lacking.  Consider for a moment how many inches of airspace a 20K transient could propagate through before losing half of its energy- air itself is tough to put that kind of signal through for long distances, and digital mixing retains it all with largely hypothetical perfection?  It may be technically true, but is that a realistic or plausible presentation?  Some people don't think so.

If you instead kill off that type of content- and it doesn't take much, it takes very little- the plausible presentation comes back, whether the killing is done by simple electromechanical means, or by synthetic algorithmic means.

Where we left off, Dave Hill had pre-emphasized highs- forcing all these undesirable, 'unrealistic' superhigh transients to be greatly amplified- and then clips the resulting audio.  Then, the highs are de-emphasised, with computer accuracy, producing a result in which anything NOT clipped is exactly as it was before.  Here's what happened:

Subtle very high frequency stuff wasn't amplified enough to be clipped.

The obnoxious stuff- got clipped.  It's not there anymore.

Some of the lower frequency stuff, MAYBE, got clipped.  Or not, if it wasn't cranked up to the point of obvious.  The effect's gonna be coming in from the very highest highs first.  It's like a compression without attack or release time.  It's also like what you get when loud and bright sound passes through air.  There's no natural way to hear 20K content from the usual presentation of a rock mix.  To be hearing things the way a multimiked DAW mix presents them, every sound source would have to be a few inches from your ear- roughly as far as each mic is from its source.

Analog recording fixes this BECAUSE of pre-emphasis, clipping- because of limitations.

Digital recording doesn't have those limitations, but that means it doesn't fix it at all.  Things sound wrong because they are wrong- perfection in data accuracy is not a realistic presentation.  It would be like expecting an echo from the back wall of a hall to be pristine, rather than colored by hundreds of feet of air that it passed through.  Sometimes, the mathematical truth does not represent the real.


JETTS wrote:

I've felt for some time that the trouble with in-the-box DAW
output is that it is brittle, over-clear, 'fragmented'.  There's
a cohesion that is lacking.  Consider for a moment how many
inches of airspace a 20K transient could propagate through
before losing half of its energy- air itself is tough to put
that kind of signal through for long distances, and digital
mixing retains it all with largely hypothetical perfection?  It
may be technically true, but is that a realistic or plausible
presentation?  Some people don't think so.
[SNIP]

It's also like

what you get when loud and bright sound passes through air.
There's no natural way to hear 20K content from the usual
presentation of a rock mix.  To be hearing things the way a
multimiked DAW mix presents them, every sound source would have
to be a few inches from your ear- roughly as far as each mic is
from its source.
Interesting theory.  I think the frequency content of a miced signal is typically not quite so toppy in the real world though.

While the initial transient of a close mic recording is potentially very bright - no passage through air to attenuate the highs - there is also the room response to consider: All those reflections coming into the mic mostly off axis which have typically been reflected multiple times and have passed through a lot of air.  So the sound of a continuous performance recorded in a decent studio has the warmth of the reverberant sound balancing the top end of the close mics to some degree.

Then there is the frequency response of mics to consider - there just isn't any 20k signal coming from most dynamic mics - plenty from small condensers of course.

The real story about what is happens (Eq wise etc) to a source signal to get it onto tape and back off again with a "flat 20Hz - 20kHz" response would curl the hair of people who imagine tape to be a "natural" unaffected medium for recording - I 'm thinking here about those that still have any of course ;-)

Tape can certainly sound nice though.


JETTS, it's hard to suggest some preset.  Could you maybe try scrolling through presets and choosing some most suitable?

Thanks for that post, I think TapeBus is probably very close to that approach.

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